Ask Dr. Down-Down: Aug 2003

I have a long history with a hasher named Larry “Stray Dog” McDowell. I’d just as soon bury it and move on, but this old Dr. Down-Down column captures the spirit of our relationship, and remains one of my favorites.

— Flying Booger, 22 Feb 2020

Dear Hashers,

I don’t know what these messages are about, or how they got directed to my MS Outlook inbox. And no one can find Flying Booger, anywhere. Can anyone help me solve this mystery?

On On,
Doctor Down-Down

*********************Date: 8824RTZ00nb4.9\
From: Sector Master Q244 [secQ244mas@zycron.orb]
Reply-To: Sector Master Q244 [secQ244mas@zycron.orb]
To: Subagent Tull-04b [subtull04a@zycron.orb]
Subagent Tull-04b, your insectoid ass is grass. Return to ship immediately. But first, make sure that cursed Microsoft Outlook program of yours does not send this communication to any other human addresses!Out,
Sector Master Q244

Date: 31 Jul 03 18:34:55 -0400
From: He’s Everywhere! []
Reply-To: He’s Everywhere! []
To: Sector Master Q244 [secQ244mas@zycron.orb]
Subject: RE: RE: Plan Z From Zycron

I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT! Flying Booger, you asshole jerk, I’ve finally got the goods on you and I’m going to tell every hasher everywhere just what an asshole jerk you are, you unhashlike jerk. And your unhashlike alien friends too! Ha ha, you thought I couldn’t break into your secret little e-mail ring, didn’t you . . . you’ll regret the day you decided to start flaming Larry McDowell! Jeeeeze you jerk I always knew there was something weird about you. Ha! Now that I have proof I can sue you and your little space friends for liabel.

HA! Is this what LRA stands for? Loser Retard Aliens?

Cheers and On On,
Larry McDowell


Date: 8824RTZ00a1x.2\
From: Sector Master Q244 [secQ244mas@zycron.orb]
Reply-To: Sector Master Q244 [secQ244mas@zycron.orb]
To: Subagent Tull-04b [subtull04a@zycron.orb]
Subject: RE: Plan Z From Zycron

Subagent Null-66m is to be terminated with extreme prejudice. Immediately. We cannot risk exposure of Plan Z. I will dispatch a more reliable agent within two orbital patterns. When the new subagent arrives I suggest you use the body of Earth Hasher “Ball Wrinkle” as its corporeal representative.

Tull-04b, it is not our lot to question the purpose behind Plan Z. All we need to know is its goal: the self-destruction of earthling “Larry McDowell,” which, I am pleased to observe, seems to be on schedule. He should have turned against every hasher on the planet by this time next knarrth-passage. I congratulate you on your recent “Flying Booger” message, the one where you pointed out that there was an alternate haberdashery source available to hashers. This single message has measurably accelerated Larry McDowell’s self-destruction. I will see that there is a bonus in it for you if we complete Plan Z ahead of schedule.

“Walk the Dog.” Most excellent. I click my antennae together with glee: CLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICK!

Confirm termination of Subagent Null-66m ASAP.

Sector Master Q244

p.s. Question: Is it wise for us to use Microsoft Outlook for our secret Earth-to-Orbit communication protocol? One of our sensors intercepted an earthling news report stating that Outlook can be easily penetrated. Investigate and recommend alternatives if required.


Date: 8824RTZ001\
From: Subagent Tull-04b [subtull04a@zycron.orb]
Reply-To: Subagent Tull-04b [subtull04a@zycron.orb]
To: Sector Master Q244 [secQ244mas@zycron.orb]
Subject: Plan Z From Zycron

Sector Master Q244, I lower my antennae in Your presence.

I vibrate with anticipatory glee as I report the activation of Plan Z. The earthling “Larry McDowell” has responded just as You predicted (Oh All-Knowing One) and is unwittingly hastening the culmination of Plan Z, his own destruction.

May I also praise Your choice of a body for me to inhabit while working on this planet. Earth Hasher “Flying Booger” is not only quite roomy, it transpires that Larry McDowell has long regarded Flying Booger as his primary enemy, thus maximizing my ability to goad him into self-destructive behavior in accordance with Plan Z.

I must inform you, however (and with all humility Oh Masterful One) that it is not easy to predict McDowell’s actions. You will recall the demonstration of the Earthling self-amusement “Yo-Yo” device we viewed aboard the mothership en route to this sub-sector last knarrth-passage. McDowell reacts as a Yo-Yo reacts, moving along reciprocal vectors in response to flicks of my “finger,” but imagine a Yo-Yo that is not a harmless round wheel-like object but rather a coiled Grratch-cat on an elastic tether, a furious Yo-Yo that flails and spits and claws at the Yo-Yoist. I must be cautious lest the rage of McDowell manifest itself in sudden, erratic vector changes. Never have I encountered such a hostile entity, not even in the Hell Belts of the Despair Nebula. Nevertheless I remain completely convinced that Plan Z will ultimately succeed, and that under Your brilliant tutelage I will become a Yo-Yo master, able to “walk the dog” at will.

I am less happy to forward the attached message from Subagent Null-6MMq, who is beginning to question our mission. I fear her exoskeleton lacks rigidity. I quiver before Thee Oh Master, and ask for Your guidance.

I deposit warm secretions in Your sleeping-pod Oh Sweet Master,

Subagent Tull-04b


Date: 8824RTZ00af9\
From: Subagent Null-66m [subvull66m@zycron.orb]
Reply-To: Subagent Null-66m [subvull66m@zycron.orb]
To: Subagent Tull-04b [subtull04a@zycron.orb]
Subject: Request Clarification

Senior Subagent Tull-04b,

I present my unprotected thorax to you. May I address you as Tull, rather than your formal title? After all, we were once swarm mates, remember? Or have you forgotten, since your promotion?

Hey, about this body you issued me, the one that belongs to Earth Hasher She Mussel Bitch. It’s way too small! I’m not a larva any more, you know . . . and what’s worse, she stays partially conscious when I’m controlling her. An example: Yesterday, in accordance with Plan Z, I caused She Mussel Bitch to activate the local Earth Hasher communication system to point out an error in a previous message from Mr. McDowell. When Mr. McDowell reacted with 23 sequential messages condemning his “flamer” (as predicted by Plan Z, all praise to Our Masters yadda yadda) I sensed pleasure on She Mussel Bitch’s part. I almost believe she would help execute Plan Z without any intervention on our part.

But here’s my real problem: Why have we, all-powerful Zycronians, masters of two galaxies and substantial portions of two others, crossed all these light-years to destroy one earthling? What’s up with that? What possible difference can this McDowell entity make in the larger scheme of things?

Tull, I rely on your guidance. If you tell me this is really necessary, I will happily sacrifice three of my six legs in support of Plan Z. I just want to know why.

See you back on board the ship one of these knarrth-passages.

Your willing drone,

© 2010 – 2020, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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